Casio has introduced the Privia PX-S7000, a $2,699.99 keyboard that they say is “the best-sounding, best-feeling, best-looking Privia ever made.”
The Privia PX-S7000 is striking – looking a bit like a modern take on the iconic mid-century modern Hohner Clavinet D6 design.
It features Casio’s Smart Hybrid Hammer Action keys, which the company says offer the response you’d expect from a well-regulated concert grand. The keys feature spruce sides and subtly textured surfaces and offer natural performance by replicating the hammer behavior of each of the 88 individual piano keys.
The PX-S7000 features the sound of three of the finest pianos on Earth, dubbed Berlin, Hamburg and New York. Each piano has its own unique personality, and the Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source brings them to life with damper, string, and aliquot resonance, plus subtle mechanical sounds.
The keyboard features 400 Tones, including 50 electric piano Tones, and a variety of Tones inspired by the keyboard parts of well-known songs.
The PX-S7000’s wooden stand features a modern design and three generously sized pedals. The main body of the PX-S7000 can be detached from the stand and played anywhere, thanks to its optional 8xAA battery power. An optional SP-34 three-pedal unit can be connected for portable use, and the optional SC-900 carrying bag lets you take PX-S7000 anywhere.
The PX-S7000’s features a 32-watt 4-way Spatial Sound System. Casio says that the speakers are tuned to resonate within the PX-S7000’s wood and resin body. Using the Piano Position function, you can configure the Spatial Sound System to sound its best when placed against a wall, in the center of a room, on a table, or anywhere else in your home.
Other features include Bluetooth connectivity, Class-Compliant USB connectivity, a MIDI recorder, a microphone input & USB audio recording.
400 Tones including three legendary concert grand pianos (Hamburg, New York, and Berlin)
New Smart Hybrid Hammer Action keys with spruce sides
Beautiful design in your choice of Harmonious Mustard, Black or White finishes
Matching beech stand with three fixed pedals
Illuminated touch sensor controls with assignable multi-function buttons
LED touch ring and bright, backlit LCD display for easy navigation
Illuminated pitch bend wheel and assignable buttons
Microphone input with volume control and 25 dedicated microphone effects
Includes WU-BT10 Bluetooth Audio & MIDI adapter
Dual headphone outputs plus 1/4″ L/R outputs and expression pedal input
Class-compliant USB port with no drivers or installation needed
MIDI recorder, USB audio recording and audio/MIDI file playback
Optional 8xAA battery power (AC adapter included)
Designed to work with the Casio Music Space app for iOS/Android
Pricing and Availability
The Casio Privia PX-S7000 is expected to be available in October, in three color options, for $2,699.99.
UK synth maker Modal Electronics has announced Filton, a 20HP Dual Analogue Transistor Ladder Filter Module for Eurorack modular systems, and is making it available exclusively as a limited-edition Kickstarter project.
Filton is based on the filter of Modal’s 002 synthesizer. It’s based on “the most popular classic filter design in synth history”, but features pole sweeping, which allows for seamless filter morphing from four pole through bandpass to one pole 6db per octave, or anywhere in between.
Here’s what they have to say about it:
“We were asked by many to release the 002 filter as a separate product to use with external sound sources or in Eurorack setups. Filton is our answer to these passionate musicians and producers.
Although the ladder filter within Filton incorporates the same filter circuitry from the 002 synthesiser, Modal made many alterations to the original design to improve both stability and sound. Also, this module contains two discrete filters rather than just one, to process two sound signals independently or allow for series or parallel processing of a single source.
Each filter features an audio input, four analogue CVs with attenuvertor controls for FM, Resonance, Morph and Level, pitch tracking provided by the 1V/Oct input, an audio output and a mixed output. All CV inputs on Filter A have been normalled to Filter B, meaning any CV signal plugged into Filter A is automatically sent to Filter B if nothing is plugged into the corresponding input.”
Pricing and Availability
Filton is available as a limited edition for £299 via Kickstarter. Modal has no plans to distribute it using its usual distribution network.
Native Instruments has quietly removed Absynth – the ground-breaking semi-modular software synthesizer – from its lineup.
The company has announced Komplete 14, and Absynth is missing in action.
Absynth had a remarkable 22-year run. Originally introduced by developer Brian Clevinger’s Rhizomatic Software in 2000, Absynth has been distributed by Native Instruments since 2001. The soft synth was in need of an update, though, since the most recent version was introduced in 2009.
Native hasn’t said anything about the demise of Absynth, but Clevinger shared the above statement via Youtube.
“I don’t know if it will be possible to continue Absynth outside of NI,” notes Clevinger. “But I want Absynth’s unique features to remain available to musicians. For years I’ve had major plans for Absynth, and although this is a disappointing turn of events, these ideas could manifest as new stuff from Rhizomatic. So stay tuned!”
Fans of Absynth may want to take a look at Clevinger’s Plasmonic. While a very different synth, it also features deep modulation, plus support for recent technologies like MPE:
Check out Clevinger‘s statement and share your thoughts on Absynth, and it’s demise, in the comments!
Just a little over a year after the release of Fallen Embers, ILLENIUM’s fifth studio album appears to be locked and loaded. The news will come as no surprise considering ILLENIUM’s recent and consistent stream of announcements, including two IDs, “From The Ashes” with Skylar Grey and a to-be-named number with MAX recently revealed at North Coast Festival. In July, ILLENIUM also cemented the return of “Trilogy” with “TRILOGY: Colorado.” An extension of the “Trilogy” format debuted at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium in 2021, “TRILOGY: Colorado” will take over the Empower Field at Mile High in Denver on June 17, 2023.
The Glitch Mob are going back to the heady, sweaty basics of dance music: propulsive sounds that connect artist and audience, however near or far. That’s the timeless mission of their next chapter, CTRL ALT REALITY, their first studio album since 2018’s See Without Eyes.
Of its debut single, “The Flavor,” the dance/electronic veterans say they “emptied the tank for this record. Left it all out on the court.” Listeners wouldn’t expect anything less. And as to be surmised, no gas left in the tank equals plenty of fuel in “The Flavor,” on which The Glitch Mob diverge from their tried-and-tried to embrace a stuttering, breakbeat-oriented style of sound with warehouse ambiance.
The Glitch Mob’s new school is old-school, and it’s formally in session on November 18, when CTRL ALT REALITY hits streaming platforms, courtesy of their independent imprint, Glass Air Records. For now, their fourth full-length project can be pre-saved and pre-ordered here.
KOMPLETE 14 is coming later this month, with a major software update to the KOMPLETE sampler following in October. That includes some major expansion to bundled tools, but still incomplete support for new Apple machines until late 2022 / early 2023. Here’s an overview of what’s new.
KOMPLETE 14 is the first landmark release of Native Instruments’ production line since NI became part of Soundwide, alongside iZotope and Plugin Alliance. As expected, you get a bunch of newly bundled tools out of that merger.
Between all those added bundles, though, it’s worth teasing out what is genuinely new here. The biggest answer to that Kontakt 7, which promises to be a significant update:
HiDPI UI (it says “browsing experience,” curiously, so – wait, not the rest of the UI?)
Overhauled Factory Library
Audio engine improvements
Kontakt also has native Apple Silicon support for macOS users, which at this point a lot of the Komplete line still lacks. (See below.)
Kontakt – and the ecosystem of sounds around it, both from NI and third parties – is surely the make-or-break heart of this Komplete release. So we’ll look at it in more detail shortly.
Also new in Komplete is Ozone 10. Now that Soundwide are one brand, that’s worth mentioning here, too: iZotope is unveiling Ozone 10 in the same timeframe. Now you get that popular mastering suite as part of the deal. Neutron 4 is also available in Komplete, too, and is also a fairly new release, combining mixing, dynamics, and sound processing tools.
Here’s where NI products are suddenly becoming redundant in the merger, though. I might rather use some of NI’s dynamics tools in place of Neutron, but it appears they don’t get an update here – even though many have seen only minor tweaks since release and still lack native Apple Silicon support.
What’s newly bundled
Synths from NI don’t get much play so far in the Komplete 14 announcement, but what we do get is a bumper crop of synths and effects from Plugin Alliance. That includes Knif Audio’s Knifonium model, which recreates a 26 vacuum-tube instrument.
You also get effectively all the major new releases from NI of the last two years. So that means, depending on the bundle/upgrade you buy, you could pick up:
Select, at $199 or free with some NI hardware, gives you an array of different kinds of instruments but limited to the Player version of Kontakt.
Standard+, from $599 new, now includes Kontakt 7 and Ozone 10, plus a ton of instruments / effects / expansions.
Ultimate adds some key additions: Razor, Flesh, the new Piano Colors, the Pro version of Session Strings. There’s a lot of the “cinematic” stuff – Action Strikes, Ashlight, Mysteria, Pharlight, Sequis, Emotive Strings, and more. And a bunch of additional symphonic libraries are in the deal, plus nearly all the additional NI and BX effects.
Collector’s Edition is a bit more of a puzzler – 1.5 TB of stuff instead of around a gigabyte, but a somewhat random selection of additions not in Ultimate, including the Knifonium, and Lores, plus a bigger mix of orchestral stuff. The main thing about this version is, that it’s expensive new but only $100 more if you have the 12-13 Collector’s Edition, so as an upgrade it’s more of a no-brainer.
Native Apple Silicon compatibility is still spotty across the suite, but NI does have a timeline for finally making software available.
Native now: Guitar Rig 6, Kontakt
Native in Q4 2022: FM8, Monark, Komplete Effects (that’s the Solid effects, Transient Master, Enhanced EQ, VC 160/2A/76, etc.), Komplete Kontrol, Massive, Massive X, Rounds, Form, Super 8, TRK-01, Bite, Drive, Phasis, Raum, and other Komplete 14 Instruments and effects, except –
Native in “the beginning of” 2023: Reaktor 6, Battery 4
Any other criticisms aside, I will absolutely have a party when Reaktor 6 is Apple Silicon native. On the other hand, I’ve had the least trouble with Reaktor in Rosetta – and probably the most with Kontakt and Kontakt-based stuff, so it’s great to see Kontakt become Apple Silicon-native.
Yeah, if you’re using Windows, what you care about is HiDPI support – I’ll try to find that out separately. I’ll also try to get a more complete (pardon the pun) list.
What’s not there
Updates to software? I’m researching this, but for now, it seems we don’t get new functionality or UIs outside Kontakt / Ozone 10 / Neutron 4. That’s disappointing, as competitors have updated software across their suites. We’ll see if more arrives with Apple Silicon-native versions later this year or if NI provides more information.
No subscription. Despite years of talk about software-as-service, there’s still no subscription available for Komplete – only a limited bundle of Massive X and a collection of effects and various sound packs/smaller tools in the form of Komplete Now.
No preinstalled hardware option. You also still can’t buy this on a hard drive preinstalled. Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’d love some luxury “Collector’s Edition” version with a fast hard drive you can just plug and use, only touching the installer for updates. Surely after all that investment money, NI could call up Western Digital or someone, no? It could have a velvet bag. It could be a limited run. You could get one signed by your favorite film composer. Tim Exile could include his own personal eau de cologne. I don’t know.
End of Absynth. Absynth of course is removed, as reported widely (including here on CDM). It is compatible with Rosetta 2, though, meaning if you’ve got it now, there’s no immediate threat to compatibility.
No hardware / integration updates (yet). There’s no word yet on updated hardware – including anything going on with firmware / support. I’ll wait to get details. As far as the NI news would seem to suggest, though, Komplete Kontrol and Maschine/Maschine+ do support the updated software at launch, though there would be more involved questions to ask about something like Kontakt 7.
14 comes on 27th
Komplete 14 is available on September 27, though with Kontakt 7 shipping in October.
TroyBoi‘s next EP is a melange of Latin influence born from his “love” of Latin music, the culture, his travels across Latin America, and, more locally, his experiences as a Miami resident for the past five years. The forthcoming project, appropriately titled INFLUENDO (“influenced”) takes initial form with “Ninguém Dorme,” Portugese for “nobody sleeps.” The beat-heavy single administers a heady dose of TroyBoi sound, intermingled with Latin elements. On the spry, charged-up number, TroyBoi reconvenes with Tropkillaz, deepening his serial collaboratorship with the Brazilian production pair comprising DJ Zegon and Laudz. Brazil’s MC Lan, memorable for his presence on 2019’s “Malokera,” with TroyBoi, Skrillex, LUDMILLA, and Ty Dolla $ign, also contributes to “Ninguém Dorme.”
It’s worth noting that neither INFLUENDO nor “Ninguém Dorme” is TroyBoi’s first time taking inspiration from his surroundings. In May 2021, the trap pioneer dispensed “Inspirado En Mexico,” a Flamenco guitar-accented original through which he paid homage to Cabo San Lucas. INFLUENDO is scheduled to hit streaming platforms later in September, but the trip begins below, no passport required.
Music software instruments are entering something of a mid-life crisis – and one landmark is the cancellation this week of Absynth by NI/Soundwide. Creator Brian Clevinger has recorded a statement.
Native Instruments changes in ownership and leadership have already brought with them significant cuts to key designers and engineers, through layoffs and other attrition. Absynth is now the first major visible product casualty at NI and its new parent Soundwide. (Worst corporate name ever. Best brand name is still Mark of the Unicorn. Try harder, folks.)
Here’s what the product’s original creator, Brian Clevinger, has to say about its demise after 22 years:
Too Long:Didn’t Read/Watch:
Absynth is dead
Brian would have been happy to work with NI on a new version/reboot, and NI wasn’t up for it
You can still enjoy Brian’s software at Rhizomatic
22 years was a pretty good run (agreed)
I’ll look at Komplete 14 separately; I know for many users their interest won’t hinge on Absynth.
Absynth is a peculiar instrument, and one that was badly in need of an update – no one would argue otherwise. But creator Brian Clevinger, who continues to develop software at Absynth’s original parent Rhizomatic, does confide that he was more than willing to return to NI to reboot his instrument brainchild.
And with Komplete 14, Native Instruments is effectively down one flagship soft synth. Reaktor is still there, and various instruments created on it, but you’ll notice that the K14 marketing doesn’t really mention synthesis at all. That’s, how shall we say, peculiar. The production community goes crazy about obscure modular synths, even as corporate marketing seems to only want to talk about sound packs.
I’m not sure any bundle that includes Reaktor really needs anything else, let alone another soft synth. But it does raise the question of why one of the developers that popularized the software synthesizer seems now to shy away from actually talking about them.
There are a couple of patterns to notice here. One, while it made a big difference in 2000 that Absynth was discovered by Native Instruments, I’m not sure that developers need big publishers to achieve success anymore. Remember that in 2000 people were even still buying software in boxes. Now customers are more than happy to grab independent software from developers a la carte – which also means, NI, they may not much care that there’s an updated version of Native Access that lets them search by genre. (That is, Native Access has to compete with Google and word of mouth for the same task.)
Two, the focus on business cases by big brands seems to eclipse any interest in instruments and personality. Never mind that the production community found Massive and Serum on their own and eagerly exchanged tips on how to use them. Corporate music tech marketing thinks you need a helper app that tells you which sound packs to use to get a particular genre.
And I’d argue there’s another trend to observe: we’ve reached the point in software instruments where, like hardware, older titles might weirdly be set for revival. That’s not just as a business case for people who used them the first time around. Because of how design ideas in technology tend to come in cycles, it means we’re now set to reevaluate software from the 90s and 2000s with fresh eyes.
And it’s weird on some level that software makers haven’t worked out how to capitalize on that. The DAW on some level is its own franchise – Logic, Performer, Reason, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, and Cubase all now carry the banner of their past releases. But that means a lot of ideas have fallen through the cracks.
Music developers might take a look at games, especially with parts shortages threatening to limit hardware growth. The gaming industry has problems of its own (does it ever), but at least the games business has found it can plumb creations from past decades and make enormous profits, partly because people like the stuff from that era – folks who played it at the time, plus new customers. Heck, you can subscribe to video game channels by key composers and game designers, play 90s titles (Live A Live was a big hit this summer), and buy limited-run physical editions of all kinds of games that already came out years ago. Music isn’t quite like games, but on the other hand – given the appetite for vintage hardware, why has no one figured it out? (See below – Bram Bos did figure it out, re-releasing an instrument he created before Brian, and a bunch of people bought the result.)
At the very least, it may well be time to start to write the history of the soft synth, especially since even the creator of Absynth it appears is forgetting some of that history. He’s right that he was is the creator of one of the longest-running instruments, but I think a little off that only Reaktor and Max share that category. Let’s set the record straight there. Just a few non-NI examples:
1996: Pure Data (no big deal, only runs in your modular and powers a ton of iOS games and apps)
1996: SuperCollider (no big deal, only helped launch a worldwide live coding movement…)
1997: Bram Bos Hammerhead (and now it’s on your iPad! and … brilliant, actually)
2000: Propellerhead (now Reason Studios) Reason
2000: Emagic ES1 (and the UI is exactly the same today in Logic – no, seriously, have a look!)
2000: Emagic EXS (then called the Emagic Xtreme Sampler 24 Bit (EXS24))
2001: Steinberg HALion (someone can probably dig into Steinberg’s history and suggest an earlier version since VST is their invention)
1958: Csound (okay, okay… 1986, I’m being cheeky, though you could make an argument for 1958 if you wanted)
That leaves out trackers and so on, which are directly intertwined with what has happened with gaming hardware and software.
This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s not lost on me that there are two general patterns – either open source, community-developed efforts on one hand or tools that were part of a DAW on the others. (Surge is a youngster from 2005, so that doesn’t count, but it sure has a shot at longevity now!) I think it’s tough to extrapolate what this would look like in 20 years, though. Well… it’s tough to extrapolate how anything looks in 20 years.
Anyway, if anyone wants to get in touch and help me write the Big Book of Soft Synths and/or share a limited-run physical release of your long-lost synthesizer on a golden floppy, I am of course There. For. It.
Probably Gen Z and younger will get the idea of collecting floppies of old instruments even faster than the old folks. I’ll bet you my Kensington trackball.
Go read Sound on Sound’s review of Absynth from 2001:
Here’s the music by creator Brian Clevinger from the video, made in Absynth:
And maybe you should just ignore all the above and … we should just focus on Plasmonic. That’s the new Rhizomatic physical modeling synth and a reminder that there are new ideas, plus new features like MPE:
And here you go – here’s a tutorial for getting started using Absynth from the NI blog. (Uh oh. I hope we didn’t just Mexican Pizza the thing. NI, if you suddenly see surging demand, let’s talk.)
After doing the rounds in the Aussie DJ and producer’s sets this summer, Mall Grab has shared his next collaboration with Newcastle-born Loods.
Marking the third collaboration from the pair, disco-house cut ‘Love Is Real’ was previously heard on a limited vinyl run via Mall Grab’s Steel City Dance Discs, and is out now on digital platforms via the imprint.
The single follows Mall Grab’s debut LP, ‘What I Breathe’, released via his own Looking For Trouble imprint on 5th August, which saw the producer collaborate with London MCs D Double E and Novelist, Baltimore hardcore band Turnstile’s frontman Brendan Yates, and Manchester-based producer, Nia Archives.
Bonobo has shared a new single and video, ‘ATK’, which is out now on his Outlier label in partnership with Ninja Tune. You can watch the clip below.
The first new music from Bonobo since his critically acclaimed album, ‘Fragments’, back in January, the track comes with visuals directed by the McGloughlin Brothers, whose resume includes efforts for the likes of A$AP Rocky and Max Cooper.
“‘ATK’ was made around the same time as ‘Fragments’. Initially a DJ edit of Atakora Manu’s ‘Dada’, it became something fuller and a track of its own. I felt it was a little too bashy to fit on the album and wanted to save it as an Outlier release to be aimed more at the dance floor,” said Bonobo, AKA Simon Green, of the new material, referencing legendary Ghanaian Highlife guitarist, Manu, an acclaimed composer, studio engineer, and founder of Kakaiku No.2 Band with Moses Kweku Oppong.
“We wanted to create a minimal film embodying ideas of serendipity and perception, allowing the world to reveal itself in unusual ways spontaneously. If you have ever looked out of a train window to see the wires and tiles weave and dance in a magical way, this, in essence, is what we wanted to capture in our film. Our own living ‘zoetrope’,” said the McGloughlin Brothers.
Bonobois currently on a world tour, including a recent five-night residency at London’s Royal Albert Hall — the longest ever run for a solo artist in the venue’s history. This summer, festival sets have included Glastonbury, Lost Village, Sonar Barcelona and Fuji Rock, with forthcoming shows in the US at Brooklyn Mirage (25th September), and The Greek Theatre in Berkeley (20th October) and Los Angeles (22nd October) before returning to the UK and Europe. A combined global audience of 750,000 will have attended once all dates are finished.
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